Thursday, 30 May 2013

Questions (258)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

258. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if inspection reports of creches will be added to her website; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26413/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006, the inspection of preschools is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive (HSE). As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, driving the early childhood care and education quality agenda is one of my key objectives. I believe we can achieve this objective by taking a number of steps in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills, including the adaptation of the existing preschool inspection system to provide a more comprehensive and broader-based inspection regime for preschools, moving to a greater focus on outcomes for children. In support of this, a Joint Pilot Inspection of Early Years Services was carried out by Inspectors from the HSE and the Department of Education and Skills between September 2011 and May 2012. This pilot will inform the proactive approach being taken by my Department. I believe that it is important that inspection reports be made available publicly, and I have been consulting with the HSE with a view to ensuring that this happens as soon as possible. I would hope that HSE preschool inspection reports will be available on-line before September this year at the latest.